Friday, April 21, 2006

Forest Land Conflict in Soppeng Regency, South Celebes

Peasants in Ompo, Lapajung, Bila and Mattabulu village, Lalabata Sub Regency, Soppeng Regency, South Celebes Vs Forestry Department

Before 1948

When Dutch start colonize Soppeng regency, the government form was still use kingdom. People life surround and inside the forest. They depend on forest product and made small plantation on it environment. People use the land around their house to plant rice, especially people who live in Mattabulu village.

Peasants cultivate the land at that time because they got the permission from Petta Bila Pute Ici as custom functionary in Lalabata area and from Petta Ujung as custom functionary in Ujung. The both custom functionary gave the land as "Akkinanrengna" or land for rice plants. Custom functionary also determined the boundaries between the land which allowed to cultivate and forbidden area. Theh border are Tamunru, Sumpang Ale'E, Coppo tettung, Coppo Aju Tanae, Tonrong Watang till to Coppo Layya. The land which allowed to cultivate determined as un disturb area

There is an agreement between Petta Bila Pute Ici and Petta Ujung as custom functionary, peasants and the Dutch in term of land distribution which allowed people to cultivate. One of the article on that agreement is "Nigi-nigi tau girang-kirangi yarega paesai yaro pakkasesengg'e sibawa agaga (akkinanreng) purae yabberang marubu pinceng mareppa tello", it mean everyone who displace the delineation will get punishment. After that, peasant could cultivate the land peacefully and never ask the other land. The agreement have no record for cancellation till now.

Year 1948

On Juni 12, 1848, the kingdom of Soppeng issued VITTREKSEL, uit hot rogister der hardelinner on boaluiton van bot zolfboatuur van soppeng on protection forest. The kingdom regulation mentioned very clear that the land which already cultivated by the peasants not included to protection forest. The protection forest covers 45,000 ha outside from the enclaves.

Year 1968

On year 1968, the Indonesian government issued tax document, called ‘P2' but the tax was stopped on 1973. the reason was there was no clear boundaries from land owner, so tax payer have to pay tax with same amount for everyone. The policy was so far away from justice because there is no different between the peasant who own very small land with the peasant who own big land.

Year 1982

Agriculture minister issued Ministerial Decision No. 760/Kpts/Um/10/1982 on October 12, 1982 with title, Indicate Forest Zone in South Celebes province cover 3,615,164 Ha as State Forest Zone.

Forestry officer started to did install pole with the reason to build street for security, so when officer went inside to the forest zone won't get lost and made it easy for putting our of fire when fire happen. The security street across Labuleng, Totakka, Salo Dammani, Tokawang, Uddungeng, Addagangg'e, Pangisorengg'e, Wiring kampong Lesu, Toho, Lappa Pude'e, Mabbiring botto, Akkampongeng Lesu, Coppo Paddisse, Coppo Cacca, Falieb.

Peasants started feeling that their right as land owner have been stolen. The forestry officer start to ban the peasant to cultivate the land and also ban to cut the timber even in their own land rights. The peasants could cultivate and cut the timber if they paid the forestry officer.

The forestry always use deception way from the beginning. The forestry officer always use to build the security road when they want to displace the state forest zone boundaries. The deception actually use to expand the state forest zone boundaries.

Year 1983

The sub regency government of Marioriwawo, Lalabata, Liliriaja issued forest delineation process document of Laposo Neneconang Protection Forest on September 28, 1983. The forest delineation process document named that the pole installation had done on September 6 untill October 10, 1982. The peasants never knew and got information that the pole installation was to expand state forest zone because the forestry officer and regency government always said the pole installation was to build security road.

Forest delineation process document named the government already gave opportunity for peasant to check state forest boundaries but the fact in the field point out the peasants never had opportunity to check the boundaries or even got information about pole installation.

Forest delineation process document also named that there is no land title or others peasant rights. The statement is very contradiction with the peasant documents. The peasants have IPEDA (1979), PAREJA (1984) and SPPT as evidences which could use to proof the peasant already cultivated the land long time ago before forest delineation process document issued. The protection forest also cover peasant land owner which already have land title from National Land Bureau (BPN), for example Land Title Number 194 in the name of Baco and Land Title Number 283 in the name of Baco Pole.

The forest zone can only be legally defined as State Forest Zone when it is established that there are no other rights to the land upon which that Forest Zone sits (rights as presented in the Agrarian Law of 1960).

Year 1998

Forestry Department expand state forest zone by issued on Ministerial Decision No. 760/Kpts/Um/10/1982 on October 12, 1982 on the same area which already determined based on VITTREKSEL, uit hot rogister der hardelinner on boaluiton van bot zolfboatuur van soppeng issued by the kingdom of Soppeng (June 12, 1948) on protection forest.

The state forest zone extension had done by determined forest delineation process document of Laposo Nenecong protection forest in Marioriwawo sub regency, Lalabata sub regency, Liliriaja sub regency, Soppeng regency, South Celebes on December 27, 1998. The forest delineation process document legalized in Jakarta on June 1, 1999 by Forestry and Plantation Department.

Year 2000 till now

Peasants start to resist by organize them selves and established Matoa Peasant Alliance as their organization. The peasants went to met and asked their land rights to Forestry office in province and regency level but did not get satisfy answer. The Forestry officer just said that they just got an order from parliament in regency level to issued the state forest zone.

In August 1, 2001, several peasant leaders went to parliament in regency level and ask the parliament to solve the land conflict with Forestry Department. The peasants just got promised from parliament that the parliament will conduct meeting with Forestry Department. After waiting for a year, the parliament promised just a promised, the meeting never happen at all.

In September 16, 2002, the peasants gave an ultimatum to parliament to organize a meeting with Forestry Department and cancel the pole installation in one month. There is no settlement within one month, so peasants take off all the pole by their own because have no response from parliament.

In November 14, 2002, Lalabata Police Office took peasant equipment and became big reaction. After that, peasant organize rally in Lalabata Police Office and asked the police to return peasant equipment. Head of Forestry in Soppeng regency also met the peasants and brought protection forest map of Forestry Department. The map gave the fact that peasant land are outside from protection forest area and made Head of Lalabata Police Office return peasant equipment because the police have no enough evidence.

In May 6, 2003, the peasant leaders met with mayor of Soppeng regency and reached an agreement that mayor gave his permission for peasant to cultivate the land to getting agriculture income for peasant household and local government. The mayor also said that peasant have good knowledge for land cultivation. The mayor gave an order to head of military office in Soppeng regency level to Forestry to allowed peasants to cultivate the land and for peasant income.

In September 11, 2004, the police office arrest peasant leader, Jamaluddin with accusation make cut down criminal action on protection forest as mention in Article 50 and Article 78 Act No. 41 year 1999 on Forestry.

In September 14, 2004, the police office arrest peasant leader, Lahadde bin Lajibe with accusation make cut down criminal action on protection forest as mention in Article 50 and Article 78 Act No. 41 year 1999 on Forestry.

In September 15, 2004, the police office arrest peasant leaders, Laessa bin Lakanna and Jufri Al Jufe bin Latarima with accusation make cut down criminal action on protection forest as mention in Article 50 and Article 78 Act No. 41 year 1999 on Forestry.

In September 23, 2004, peasants in Ompo, Bila, Lapajung and Mattabulu regency organize rally to parliament Soppeng regency with more tha 500 peasant as participants and have dialog with parliament and made results as follow :

  1. Parliament guarantee to organize a multi stakeholder meeting (mayor, head of forestry and plantation in Soppeng regency and head of Police office in Soppeng regency on September 28, 2004.

  2. Parliament guarantee, there is no more arrest to peasant on peasant right to cultivate the land and temporary peasant not allowed to went inside to forest zone.

In September 28, 2004 have multi stakeholder meeting with mayor, forestry and council for regency and came out with result to establish special team to handle land conflict between forestry and peasant in Ompo, Bila, Lapajung and Mattabulu regency.

In October 7, 2004, the police office arrest 7 peasant leaders. It showed that the agreement what have agreed on last meeting in September 23, 2004.

The impact from the land conflict

After the police arrest several peasant leaders, forestry position getting stronger and stronger. Forestry officer act as like they want. Peasant could not go inside and cultivate the land and peasant have nothing for household income. This condition bring consequences, peasant have nothing to eat and their child could not go to school. Several peasant have to change their occupation become labor.


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